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Apple iWatch Announcement Could Bring Revolutionary New Payment System

NEW YORK ( -- The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco begins today, and one of the latest rumors for a big announcement is that an Apple iWatch with a near-field communication chip will be introduced.

This might not sound like a big deal, but it could be the start of the largest revolution in financial payments since the credit card.

An Apple iWatch is not just a watch with a video screen. No matter what Dick Tracy would lead you to believe, the screen on a watch would be really too small for any useful video application.

But imagine adding an NFC chip and Touch ID to the rumored Apple iWatch. This would enable you to replace all your credit cards and give you the most secure and easiest form of mobile payment on the planet, all in one device.

For example, you walk into a clothing store and pick up a pair of jeans. You approach an automated checkout computers. You scan the jean's bar code, and when the computer prompts you for payment, you simply hold your iWatch up to the console and let the Touch ID button on your iWatch verify your identity by scanning your fingerprint. Once you have been verified, the NFC chip passes your encrypted payment information securely to the checkout computer, charges your account and prints you a receipt.

This transaction has eliminated the need to fumble through your wallet for a credit card, sign a credit card receipt and deal with a distracted clerk. It becomes a 15-second event.

It is also substantially more secure. Currently a crook can just steal and use your credit card number, or just buy stolen cards off the Internet. But with this method, they would have to remove the iWatch from your wrist, copy the skin off your finger with a high grade rubber or plastic while you stay completely still, then trick your phone into thinking the imprint is your fingerprint. A crook could do it, but they would need James Bond or Jack Bauer to pull it off. 

WATCH: More tech videos on TheStreet TV | More videos from Brittany Umar

Bill Hardekopf is chief executive of, which compares and rates more than 1,000 credit cards. He is the co-author of "The Credit Card Guidebook."

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